World Class Obedience
No Delay: Prayers for Your Obedience Response Time
When God says “Go,” how long does it take you to respond? Are you prone to negotiate, stall or seek second and third opinions? Do you look for escape clauses and pre-obedience agreements? Or, when God speaks, do you respond immediately?
If you are a parent, you probably don’t put up with delayed obedience from your children. You teach them to trust your judgment, to respect your authority and to do what you tell them to do immediately and without any stalling. God expects the same from us. He expects us to trust him, to honor him and to obey him. And, he promises to bless and reward us when we do. Pray for your Obedience Response Time, your ORT, to grow shorter and shorter. Pray that when you hear God’s command, you will obey instantly.
World Class Obedience
The Bible is loaded with examples of men and women who practiced instant obedience. Consider Noah, who obeyed God and started construction on an ark even though the concept of a flood was probably foreign to him. God honored his obedience and preserved him and his family through the most terrible days the world had ever seen. Consider Abraham, who obeyed God and left his hometown in search of a far country that he had never seen, but that God had promised to give him. God honored his obedience and made him the father of Israel.
In my opinion, Abraham also received one of the most difficult assignments God ever gave a human. Without any explanation, God commanded Abraham to offer his beloved and promised son Isaac as a sacrifice to him. The biblical text records Abraham’s radical response to God’s brutal assignment,
“Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about,” (Genesis 22:3).
I’m stunned and humbled by Abraham’s unblinking response to God. We know from the text that Abraham was fully prepared to carry out God’s difficult order, even though he didn’t fully understand God’s reasoning. He did, however, know that God is good and that he could be trusted, even with the life of his promised son. God honored Abraham’s faith.
In the New Testament, Jesus’s first disciples also demonstrated impressively short Obedience Response Times. The writer Mark tells us that when Jesus approached Simon and Andrew and invited them to join his ministry, “At once they left their nets and followed him,” (Mark 1:17-18). That was probably not the first time that Simon and Andrew had met Jesus. They were aware of his ministry and his rising popularity. But it was probably the first time that Jesus had extended his call/command on their lives, and their response to him was instant–no negotiation, no debating, no stalling; just an immediate Yesto the call of the Lord.
We need to pray for equally obedient hearts. We need to pray that when Jesus calls, we’ll drop our nets and follow.